Tired of competition, choreography, everyone looks alike, perma-grin hell?
Belly Dance is Eastern. It has EASTERN aesthetics and values (by Eastern, I mean the Near and Middle East–North Africa and South West Asia (SWANA), the Mediterranean basin). Eastern values applaud relaxation, improvisation, and shared joy.
But this is not so easy to learn.
In fact, it’s tough, because most of us have been raised with Western dance aesthetics and values. Western values applaud precision, athleticism, and choreography. Many of the conflicts in our dance world come from imposing Western values upon it.
Where is the joy?
We’ve all been told that you have to feel the music, that improvisation is the way, that this is a dance of joy. So why hasn’t anyone ever shown us how? Is it in the blood?
Wouldn’t you love to enjoy dancing? To embrace the feeling? To share joy?
Can you even learn how to do this?
Yes, you can!
Midnight at the Crossroads:
Has belly dance sold its soul?
(Morocco cried at the end because she’d found a kindred spirit.)
From the Introduction:
A magical phrase, it conjures images of sultry harem girls, exotic perfume, tinkling finger cymbals, and undulating hips. People are so drawn to this imagery one can rarely find mention of the dance that doesn’t evoke it. Yet this trope is only one facet of the jewel that is belly dance. Why do millions of people love this beautiful, joyous dance?
Belly dance has many facets. People see and use the dance in many ways. It is a movement vocabulary, a way to express sensuality, a venue for perfectionism, a sexy treat for the male gaze, a pretty bauble, an elastic medium adaptable to anyone’s preconceptions and values. It is a fun way to get exercise, a dress-up opportunity, and a bonding experience. It is entertainment, even art. But as we delve deeply into the dance, we find so much more than this.
What secret does belly dance carry, deep in its wild heart?
This book makes the case for Oriental dance not only as a beautiful dance but also one that is soul enriching, spirit-healing, a legitimate mind-body practice that equals (and in some ways surpasses), yoga, tai-chi, sitting meditation, etc., in its effectiveness and power.
Sparkly little belly dance has immense power.
People are drawn to it because they sense this, though they may not know how to access it. When they come to a class, they are often taught a sterilized version–stylized, choreographed, counted, body-control to recorded music. This is not the dance they were looking for–but it’s all they can find, all that’s available, so okay.
It is not okay with me. I am here to shine a light on the magic and mystery of our dance. There is far more to this dance than meets the eye, and those less-visible elements are its most vital and rewarding–for dancers, musicians, guests, and the world.
Midnight at the Crossroads is a love letter to the dance that has nourished me for forty years.
It is a manifesto, the conclusions to which I have come over four decades of devotion to this dance. It is for those who want something deep and real. It is given as a beacon of light welcoming dancers home to the soul of their beloved dance.
We are drawn to this dance because we feel something from it, something deep. It is real. It is there. The dance waits for you, a hidden seed, trembling with life, ready to blossom in your heart. It is filled with joy–beautiful, loving, and free–and so are you.
I invite you to step into your joy…
* * *
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Want more information?
Check out the Table of Contents.
The book is divided into three sections.
Part 1: The Feeling in the Moment
- What is Belly Dance? (Read Chapter 1 Now)
- Music Made Visible
- The East
- Culture Clash
Part 2: Different Every Time
- The Tyranny of the Visual
- The Same Every Time
- Through the Door
Part 3: Bring the Joy.
Belly dance for mind, body, and soul
- Improvisation—the belly dance bête noire
- Midnight at the Crossroads
Appendix: How to Use This Book
- Practice: The door to healing, soul, and joy
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What’s special about this book?
This book distills 45 years of intensive dance discovery into a fun, readable, rollercoaster of a journey. Its principles and strategies have the potential to change your dance–and your life. All for the cost of a two-hour workshop. That’s a modest investment for joy. It’s worth it.